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Fritz Reuter

Fritz Reuter (November 7, 1810 – July 12, 1874) was a German novelist.

Reuter was born at Stavenhagen in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, a small country town where his father was mayor and sheriff (Stadtrichter), and in addition to his official duties carried on the work of a farmer. Fritz Reuter was educated at home by private tutors and subsequently at the gymnasiums of Friedland in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and of Parchim.

Contents

Early career and imprisonment

In 1831, Reuter began to attend lectures on jurisprudence at the University of Rostock, and in the following year went to the University of Jena. Here he was a member of the political students' club, or German Burschenschaft, and in 1833 was arrested in Berlin by the Prussian government. Although the only charge which could be proved against him was that he had been seen wearing the club's colours, he was condemned to death for high treason. This sentence was commuted by King Frederick William III of Prussia to imprisonment for thirty years in a Prussian fortress. In 1838, through the personal intervention of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, he was delivered over to the authorities of his native state, and he spent the next two years in the fortress of Dömitz, but was set free in 1840, when an amnesty was proclaimed after the accession of Frederick William IV to the Prussian throne.

Although Reuter was now thirty years of age, he went to Heidelberg to resume his legal studies, but was forced by his father to give them up when it was found that he paid little attention to his studies. After returning to Mecklenburg, he spent some time with his uncle, a minister at Jabel, and then began working on an estate, in 1842, as Strom (trainee). Finding out, upon his father's death in 1845, that he had been disinherited, he realized that acquiring an estate of his own was out of the question, and he began to write, first in High German, later, with more success, in Low German. In 1850 he settled as a private tutor in the little town of Treptow an der Tollense in Pommerania (today Altentreptow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), and was now able to marry Luise Kuntze, the daughter of a Mecklenburg pastor.

Early published works

Reuter's first publication was a collection of miscellaneous poems, written in Low German, entitled Läuschen un Riemels (anecdotes and rhymes, 1853; a second collection followed in 1858). The book, which was received with encouraging favour, was followed by Polterabendgedichte (1855), and De Reis nach Belligen (1855), the latter a humorous epic poem describing the adventures of some Mecklenburg peasants who resolve to go to Belgium (which they never reach) to learn the secrets of modern farming.

In 1856 Reuter left Treptow and established himself at Neubrandenburg, resolving to devote his whole time to literary work. His next book (published in 1858) was Kein Hüsung, a verse epic in which he presents with great force and vividness some of the least attractive aspects of village life in Mecklenburg. This was followed, in 1860, by Hanne Nüte un de lütte Pudel, the last of the works written by Reuter in verse.

In 1861 Reuter's popularity was largely increased by Schurr-Murr, a collection of tales, some of which are in standard German, but this work is of slight importance in comparison with the series of stories, entitled Olle Kamellen ("old stories of bygone days"). The first volume, published in 1860, contained Woans ick tau 'ne Fru kam and Ut de Franzosentid. Ut mine Festungstid (1861) formed the second volume; Ut mine Stromtid (1864) the third, fourth and fifth volumes; and Dörchläuchting (1866) the sixth volume – all written in the Plattdeutsch dialect of the author's home. Woans ick tau 'ne Fru kamm is a bright little tale, in which Reuter tells, in a half serious half bantering tone, how he wooed the lady who became his wife.

Fritz-Reuter-Literaturmuseum, Stavenhagen

In Ut de Franzosentid the scene is laid in and near Stavenhagen in the year 1813, and the characters of the story are associated with the great events of the Napoleonic wars which then stirred the heart of Germany to its depths. Ut mine Festungstid, a narrative of Reuter's hardships during the term of his imprisonment, is no less vigorous either in conception or in style. Both novels have been translated into English by Carl F. Bayerschmidt, Ut mine Festungstid as Seven Years of My Life in 1975, and Ut de Franzosentid as When the French Were Here in 1984.

Later works

The novel Ut mine Stromtid (3 volumes) is by far the greatest of Reuter's writings. The men and women he describes are the men and women he knew in the villages and farmhouses of Mecklenburg, and the circumstances in which he places them are the circumstances by which they were surrounded in actual life. Ut mine Stromtid also presents some of the local aspects of the revolutionary movement of 1848. M. W. MacDowell translated this book from German into English as From my Farming Days in 1878, The better translation is that by Katharine Tyler which predated MacDowell's, appearing, in 1871, in Littell's Living Age, and in 1872 in book form, entitled Seedtime and Harvest.

In 1863 Reuter transferred his residence from Neubrandenburg to Eisenach, after having received an honorary doctorate from Rostock University, and here he died on 12 July 1874.

Reuter's Sämtliche Werke, in 13 volumes, were first published in 1863-1868. To these were added in 1875 two volumes of Nachgelassene Schriften, with a biography by Adolf von Wilbrandt, and in 1878 two supplementary volumes to the works appeared. A popular edition in 7 vols was published in 1877-1878 (last edition, 1902); there are also editions by Karl Friedrich Müller (18 vols, 1905), and Wilhelm Seelmann (7 vols, 1905-1906). Interest in Reuter was revived in the period after World War II, in part through the efforts of Friedrich Griese.

Among the institutions concerning themselves with the works of Reuter are the Fritz Reuter Gesellschaft e.V. in Neubrandenburg, the Fritz-Reuter-Literaturmuseum in Stavenhagen, the Reuter-Wagner-Museum in Eisenach, and the Fritz Reuter Literary Archive (Fritz Reuter Literaturarchiv) Hans-Joachim Griephan in Berlin. The latter archive keeps an index of the letters from and to Fritz Reuter.

References

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. The article is available here: [1]

External links

Further reading

  • Otto Glagau: Fritz Reuter und seine Dichtungen. Berlin: Lemke, 1866 (2nd ed. Berlin: Grote,1875)
  • Hermann Ebert: Fritz Reuter: sein Leben und seine Werke Güstrow: Opitz, 1874
  • Friedrich Latendorf: Zur Erinnerung an Fritz Reuter: verschollene Gedichte Reuters nebst volkstümlichen und wissenschaftlichen Reuter-Studien. Poesneck: Latendorf, 1879
  • Karl Theodor Gaedertz: Fritz Reuter-Studien. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1890
  • Karl Theodor Gaedertz: Aus Reuters jungen und alten Tagen : Neues über des Dichters Leben und Werke. 3 Bde. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1894-1900
  • Briefe von Fritz Reuter an seinen Vater aus der Schüler-, Studenten-, und Festungszeit (1827 bis 1841) hrsg. von Franz Engel. 2 Bde. Braunschweig: Westermann, 1896
  • Abraham Römer: Fritz Reuter in seinem Leben und Schaffen. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1896
  • Gustav Raatz, Wahrheit und Dichtung in Fritz Reuter's Werken: Urbilder bekannter Reuter-Gestalten. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1895
  • Ernst Brandes: Aus Fritz Reuters Leben. 2 Tle. Strasburg i. Westpr.: Fuhrich, 1899-1901 (Wissenschaftliche Beilage zu den Schulnachrichten des Gymansiums Strasburg i. Westpr. 1899, 1901)
  • Karl Friedrich Müller: Der Mecklenburger Volksmund in Fritz Reuters Schriften: Sammlung und Erklärung volksthümlicher Wendungen und sprichwörtlicher Redensarten im Mecklenburgischen Platt. Leipzig: Hesse, 1901

A complete bibliography of Fritz Reuter can be found in the Niederdeutsches Jahrbuch for 1896 and 1902.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FRITZ REUTER (1810-1874), German novelist, was born on the 7th of November 1810, at Stavenhagen, in MecklenburgSchwerin, a small country town where his father was burgomaster and sheriff (Stadtrichter), and in addition to his official duties carried on the work of a farmer. He was educated at home by private tutors and subsequently at the gymnasiums of Friedland in Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and of Parchim. In 1831 he began to attend lectures on jurisprudence at the university of Rostock, and in the following year went to the university of Jena. Here he was a member of the political students' club, or German Burschenschaft, and in 1833 was arrested in Berlin by the Prussian government; although the only charge which could be proved against him was that he had been seen wearing its colours, he was condemned to death for high treason. This monstrous sentence was commuted by King Frederick William III. of Prussia to imprisonment for thirty years in a Prussian fortress. In 1838, through the personal intervention of the grand-duke of Mecklenburg, he was delivered over to the authorities of his native state, and the next two years he spent in the fortress of Ddmitz, but in 1840 was set free, an amnesty having been proclaimed after the accession of Frederick William IV. to the Prussian throne.

Although Reuter was now thirty years of age, he went to Heidelberg to resume his legal studies; but he soon found it necessary to return to Stavenhagen, where he aided in the management of his father's farm. After his father's death, however, he abandoned farming, and in 1850 settled as a private tutor at the little town of Treptow in Pomerania. Here he married Luise Kuntze, the daughter of a Mecklenburg pastor. Reuter's first publication was a collection of miscellanies, written in Plattdeutsch, and entitled Lduschen un Riemels (" anecdotes and rhymes," 18J3; a second collection followed in 1858). The book, which was received with encouraging favour, was followed by Polterabendgedichte (1855), and De Reis' nah Belligen (1855), the latter a humorous poem describing the adventures of some Mecklenburg peasants who resolve to go to Belgium (which they never reach) to learn the secrets of an advanced civilization. In 1856 Reuter left Treptow and established himself at Neubrandenburg, resolving to devote his whole time to literary work. His next book (published in 1858) was Kein Hiisung, an epic in which he presents with great force and vividness some of the least attractive aspects of village life in Mecklenburg. This was followed, in 1860, by Hanne Niite un de little Pudel, the best of the works written by Reuter in verse. In 1861 Reuter's popularity was largely increased by Schurr-Murr, a collection of tales, some of which are in High German, but this work is of slight importance in comparison with the series of stories, entitled 011e Kamellen (" old stories of bygone days"). The first volume, published in 1860, contained Woans ick tau'ne Fru kam and Ut de Franzosentid. Ut mine Festungstid (1861) formed the second volume; Ut mine Stromtid (1864) the third, fourth and fifth volumes; and Dorchlduchting (1866) the sixth volume - all written in the Plattdeutsch dialect of the author's home. Woans ick tau 'ne Fru kam is a bright little tale, in which Reuter tells, in a half serious half bantering tone, how he wooed the lady who became his wife. In Ut de Franzosentid the scene is laid in and near Stavenhagen in the year 1813, and the characters of the story are associated with the great events which then stirred the heart of Germany to its depths. Ut mine Festungstid is of less general interest than Ut de Franzosentid, a narrative of Reuter's hardships during the term of his imprisonment, but it is not less vigorous either in conception or in style. Ut mine Stromtid is by far the greatest of Reuter's writings. The men and women he describes are the men and women he knew in the villages and farmhouses of Mecklenburg, and the circumstances in which he places them are the circumstances by which they were surrounded in actual life. As in Ut de Franzosentid he describes the deep national impulse in obedience to which Germany rose against Napoleon, so in Ut mine Stromtid he presents many aspects of the revolutionary movement of 1848.

In 1863 Reuter transferred his residence from Neubrandenburg to Eisenach; and here he died on the 12th of July 1874. In the works produced at Eisenach he did not maintain the high level of his earlier writings.

Reuter's Samtliche Werke, in 13 vols., were first published in 186368. To these were added in 1875 two volumes of Nachgelassene Schriften, with a biography by A. Wilbrandt; and in 1878 two supplementary volumes to the works appeared. A popular edition in 7 vols. was published in 1877-78 (last edition, 1902); there are also editions by K. F. Muller (18 vols., 1905),and W. Seelmann (7 vols., 1905-6). See O. Glagau, F. Reuter and seine Dichtungen (1866; 2nd ed., 1875); H. Ebert, F. Reuter and seine Werke (1874); F. Latendorf, Zur Erinnerung an F. Reuter (1879); K. T. Gadertz, Reuter-Studien (1890); by the same, Aus Reuters alien and jungen Tagen (3 vols., 1894-1900); Briefe F. Reuters an seinen Vater, edited by F. Engel (2 vols., 1895); A. Romer, F. Reuter in seinem Leben and Schaffen (1895); G. Raatz, Wahrheit and Dichtung in Reuters Werken (1895); E. Brandes, Aus F. Reuters Leben (1899); K. F. Muller, Der Mecklenburger Volksmund and F. Reuters Schriften (1902). A complete bibliography of F. Reuter will be found in the Niederdeutsche Jahrbuch for 1896 and 1902.


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Simple English

Fritz Reuter (November 7, 1810July 12, 1874) was a German novelist. He was born at Stavenhagen in Mecklenburg-Schwerin.

In 1831, Reuter started to study at the University of Rostock, and in 1832 went to the University of Jena. At Jena he joined a Burschenschaft (political students' club). In 1833 he was arrested in Berlin by the Prussian government. He had only been only wearing the club's colours, but he was condemned to death for high treason. King King Frederick William III of Prussia changed this to imprisonment for thirty years. In 1838 he was sent to a prison in Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and he spent two years in the fortress of Dömitz. Reuter was set free in 1840, when Frederick William IV became king of Prussia.

After his release from prison, Reuter started studying law again at the University of Heidelberg but had to leave and go back to Stavenhagen and help to run his father's farm. When his father died, he gave up farming, and in 1850 became a private teacher in the little town of Treptow in Pomerania. Here he married Luise Kunze, the daughter of a Mecklenburg pastor.

Reuter's first book was written in Low German. It was published in 1853. Three years later Reuter decided to give up teaching to become a writer, so he left Treptow and moved to Neubrandenburg.

]]

Ut de Franzosentid and Ut mine Stromtid are Reuter's best books. In them he describes the men and women he knew in the villages and farmhouses of Mecklenburg. Ut de Franzosentid is set at the time of the fight against Napoleon. Ut mine Stromtid describes the revolutionary movement of 1848.

In 1863 Reuter moved from Neubrandenburg to Eisenach and here he died on 12 July 1874. In the books he wrote at Eisenach were not as good as his earlier writings.

References

This article includes text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Please add to the article as needed. The article is available here: [1]

Other websites

Further reading

  • Otto Glagau: Fritz Reuter und seine Dichtungen. Berlin: Lemke, 1866 (2nd ed. Berlin: Grote,1875)
  • Hermann Ebert: Fritz Reuter: sein Leben und seine Werke Güstrow: Opitz, 1874
  • Friedrich Latendorf: Zur Erinnerung an Fritz Reuter: verschollene Gedichte Reuters nebst volkstümlichen und wissenschaftlichen Reuter-Studien. Poesneck: Latendorf, 1879
  • Karl Theodor Gaedertz: Fritz Reuter-Studien. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1890
  • Karl Theodor Gaedertz: Aus Reuters jungen und alten Tagen : Neues über des Dichters Leben und Werke. 3 Bde. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1894-1900
  • Briefe von Fritz Reuter an seinen Vater aus der Schüler-, Studenten-, und Festungszeit (1827 bis 1841) hrsg. von Franz Engel. 2 Bde. Braunschweig: Westermann, 1896
  • Abraham Römer: Fritz Reuter in seinem Leben und Schaffen. Berlin: Mayer & Müller, 1896
  • Gustav Raatz, Wahrheit und Dichtung in Fritz Reuter's Werken: Urbilder bekannter Reuter-Gestalten. Wismar: Hinstorff, 1895
  • Ernst Brandes: Aus Fritz Reuters Leben. 2 Tle. Strasburg i. Westpr.: Fuhrich, 1899-1901 (Wissenschaftliche Beilage zu den Schulnachrichten des Gymansiums Strasburg i. Westpr. 1899, 1901)
  • Karl Friedrich Müller: Der Mecklenburger Volksmund in Fritz Reuters Schriften: Sammlung und Erklärung volksthümlicher Wendungen und sprichwörtlicher Redensarten im Mecklenburgischen Platt. Leipzig: Hesse, 1901

A complete bibliography of Fritz Reuter can be found in the Niederdeutsches Jahrbuch for 1896 and 1902.


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